On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned the two key precedents that codified abortion access in the U.S. Our top priority as your HR experts is to arm you with facts, compliance regulations, tools, and guidance on how this impacts your workplace.
Trigger laws assure that if the Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade ruling, laws restricting abortion will go into effect immediately, or a state official will be triggered to act. Abortion is quickly becoming illegal in states with trigger laws. An estimated 26 states will have laws that restrict, prohibit, or limit abortions. With that landscape in mind, what are we seeing employers do?
Employers everywhere are saying, “We have a health insurance plan that covers specific services for all employees, with the intent that all employees will have access to all those services. Oftentimes, abortion is one of those covered services. Yesterday our employees in Arkansas could have an abortion; today, they can’t. How do we get back to a place where everyone has the same level of access to benefits?”
Organizations are taking various steps to ensure their employees are still provided with equitable health coverage. Some companies are covering medical costs, travel expenses, and time off, while other organizations are switching to self-funded plans to avoid state restrictions and other issues surrounding coverage in states that are prohibiting abortion.
There are other considerations to keep in mind regarding equitable health coverage such as direct coverage, EAP, Telehealth, Employee Assistance Fund, limits on the application of ERISA preemption, HIPAA privacy concerns, and travel services. We ask you to also acknowledge tax considerations, legal risks, criminal laws, multi-state concerns, and other various risks.
Whether you want to expand sick time benefits or cover out-of-state travel costs, deciding on a post-Roe healthcare plan for your business involves the employees’ needs, privacy and safety, the workforce size and type, workplace locations and state laws, and benefit costs. Employers need to contemplate a host of factors when it comes to providing, or not providing, a benefit for their employees. These decisions must be made in a measured fashion with professional consultation.
PuzzleHR will continue to monitor legislation across the country as case law continues to unfold.
Ask your PuzzleHR Specialist to help develop a plan to suit your needs.
Read more here about organizational considerations, abortion access laws, and abortion trigger laws.